When I’m dining out I try my hardest to venture out to new restaurants. I figure life is short so I might as well try as many different places as possible, especially when each new restaurant provides the opportunity to bring untapped inspiration into my kitchen. Sometimes though I will venture back to a favorite restaurant. Locally I enjoy Fugakyu, an amazing fusion sushi restaurant. One of the things I love about their sushi rolls is they often include cream cheese in inventive ways. Purists might cringe at this, but I am a lover of all things involving cream cheese, sushi included.
Inspired by this, I decided to make some quick maki. But rather than stick with cream cheese I decided to instead use some goat cheese. I paired the goat cheese with julienned Granny Smith apple and sushi grade salmon all wrapped in nori and brown rice.
This was one of those flavor combinations that made my mouth happy because it was quite the melange of flavors and textures. Tart and fatty. Creamy and crunchy. Nutty and salty. What could be better? I especially liked the goat cheese instead of cream cheese because the latter can tend to be a little rich and almost overwhelming against a rich fish. The lighter mouth feel and tang of goat cheese made for a more balanced, and more nuanced pairing. It was great with simple soy sauce, but when I make it again I’m definitely going to do more of a maple-soy dipping sauce.
You’ll also notice I mentioned above that this was some quick maki. That’s because rather than making my own sushi rice I cheated and bought some from my local sushi counter. Normally I’m all about cooking 100% from scratch, but preparing good sushi rice is a bit of an art. Until I perfect this, I don’t mind cheating every now and then.
-2 sheets nori
-1 cup prepared sushi rice (I used brown sushi rice from my local Whole Foods, but feel free to use what you like best)
-1.5 ounces sushi grade salmon, cut into thin strips
-1.5 ounces goat cheese, cut into strips about 1 centimeter wide
-1/4 a Granny Smith apple, cut into match sticks
Lay a piece of nori down on your rolling mat, shiny side down. Spread 1/2 the cooked sushi rice over the nori, leaving a 1/2-inch strip of nori uncovered at the bottom. To make this process easier, you’ll want to keep your hands wet by dipping your fingers in a small bowl of water.
Place 1/2 the sushi, goat cheese, and apple along the strip of uncovered nori. Using the rolling mat, begin to tightly roll the sushi starting at the filling side and rolling away from you.
Using a sharp knife, slice the roll into your desired number of pieces. Repeat the above steps with the remaining ingredients and serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.
Where do you stand on the sushi spectrum? Do you like yours with cream cheese? Without? Perhaps you don’t like sushi at all.